“The south part of the Central Market has always been very busy – there’s always the cheese shops, little cafés like Lucia’s, the cooking classes and wine tasting,” says Verslype, who at the end of this month will open artisanal French food stall Les Deux Coqs (The Two Roosters) with his partner Vincon in the market’s comparatively quieter northeast corner.
“When you go to the market you’re used to going only where you usually go and I think this place was a bit quiet for a long time so people won’t be used to coming here.
“It will be a challenge to bring more customers here and create a different atmosphere but we are ready to do it.”
After a successful three-week stint at the Central Market’s Producer in Residence stall in December last year and regular appearances at farmers and food markets across the state, Verslype and Vincon are currently in the process of renovating their new permanent shop-front at the Central Market.
The move comes just one month after the couple relocated their production from a shared kitchen in McLaren Vale to their own space in Prospect, with Vincon and Verslype now looking to expand their food offerings by opening a kitchen serving traditional French meals at their new Central Market stall.
“At the Producer in Residence stall we had just a small number of products to try but here it will be different,” Verslype says.
“On one side of the stall we will have a kitchen that will be for ready-to-cook meals that are French specialities using our charcuterie ingredients. Things like quiche or different puff pastries like vol-au-vents or pâté en croûte (pâté cooked in pastry).
“There will also be a chef serving meals matched with the season. It might be salad in summer or in winter a hot meal like soup or duck confit, or different types of sausages like boudin blanc (white-coloured sausage usually made from pork and chicken), or choucroute (traditional dish from Alsace made with sauerkraut, sausages and other charcuterie and potatoes).”
Verslype and Vincon moved to Australia in January last year to launch what they say is South Australia’s first business selling locally-made French charcuterie using the traditional method.
Their product range, to be sold at the Central Market stall, includes a selection of saucissons (dry cured sausages), rillettes, terrines, tapenades and jambon de Paris (French ham).
Verslype, who learnt the art of smallgoods production from spending time at his grandparent’s pig farm in Burgundy in eastern France, says there are noticeable differences between traditional and industrial-made smallgoods.
“The way we process the meat and mix the meat is always a bit different,” he says.
“We are not using dry ingredients like most of the industry – we use real onions, shallots and garlic.
“As we are also doing small batches we will take care of the different processes [and] the different temperatures.”
Verslype says Les Deux Coqs will add to the market’s already vibrant smallgoods sector, which houses stalls including Barossa Fine Foods, Standom Smallgoods, Con’s Fine Foods and Jagger Fine Foods.
“There are already many German smallgoods makers here, the Italian style as well,” he says.
“The Italian style is probably the most similar to the French one, but the range of products that we have here is totally different.
“You can see the difference – saucisson always has the beautiful natural flour and white colour and the Italian style, actually you can see the meat colour.
“In our saucisson we use liquor with aniseed flavour. With the Italian style it’s fennel.”
For Verslype and Vincon, the move to South Australia – in particular the Central Market – was an obvious choice.
“When we visited five years ago we spent some time here and that was a really good memory,” Vincon says.
“Visiting the market is a big part of French culture – especially Les Halles (markets) like Les Halles de Lyon.
“Here there is a mix of cultures and the only one missing was the French one so we have tried to bring a little bit of France here.”
Les Deux Coqs is located at stall 2 in the Central Market.
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